[Papercut Press Publishing] 1998-06-16 - Who Inspires You?

Matthew 4:20, "And at once they left the nets, and followed Him".

"Students tell us about women who inspire them.", was the title of a lead article in the largest Philadelphia daily newspaper on Sunday 6-14-98. The paper went a little further and added to the story title pictures of three women. It seemed to me that they were to serve as examples of inspiring women. The three inspiring examples were:

  1. Lil' Kim, a controversial rap star whose lyrics are so sexually laden that it would be pointless to play most of her videos on TV. It would all be bleeps.

  2. Pamela Anderson, a Playboy playmate and video star, who until recently had a main character role on the popular show, Baywatch. And not to be out done …

  3. The third inspiring role model for women was none other than Barbie. Yes, the doll.

As I thought some about role models in society and the lack there seems to be of decent, God-fearing people in the public eye, it stuck me that, male or female, there is almost no one to serve as a role model. Character only makes headlines if it is flawed. So where does one look for a role model for life, or better yet a mentor? I would like to suggest three places.

  1. Look locally. Specifically, look within your local church for someone who stands out. They may be someone who is always lending a helping hand, always shows up at prayer meeting, consistently comments deeper than most on the weekly Sunday School topic. Does everyone speak well of him/her? Look for someone who is Godly, I don't mean a plastic, inch deep Godliness, but a real and genuine thirst to become more and more like the God you both serve. If you can find someone like that, do one more thing, make that person your acquaintance, and then your friend. It is amazing, and we all know it to be true through painful experiences, that the company we keep will either build us up or tear us down. (James 4:4)

  2. Read Biographies. Read the narrative sections of the Bible and seek to learn why God was pleased with one person and not the other. The history contained in the Bible can be very helpful to us, if we use it. For example, why is Moses given such a prominent place in the Hall of Faith, (Hebrews 11) and yet we all know that God was so displeased with Moses, He refused to allow him to enter the promised land? Study anyone in the Hall of Faith and you will find that they are all flawed people just as we are, and yet God commends them for their faith.

  3. Lastly, do not neglect regular biographies of church history. There are reasons why people wrote books about the lives of others. Generally, this is done because the author felt the person or persons were either worth emulating or made mistakes the world needs to know about. We can learn from both.

My hope that as we look for someone to inspire us, we will all dig deeper than Barbie.

Soli Deo Gloria,